Monday, December 31, 2007

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Keeping it Simple

Thinking about less is more, keeping it simple. How to make a good painting with an off-white background, white vase and white flower. Remembering to paint negative shapes to get the petals on the flower. Still thinking of edges so I wet the paper first. Used the orange/blue palette , 3x3.75 inches on Reeves watercolor board, POR

Friday, December 28, 2007

More Feels Like Snow

I did this winter of '07. One of my teachers explained that doing a landscape was very similar to doing a still life. You could think of the tabletop as the lay of the land and the objects as the trees and buildings. So that made me think that the snow on the land and the trees could be translated back to white still life objects and a white cloth on the table. When it's too cold outside I can stay in my warm studio and paint snow! This painting is 3 3/4 by 2 1/2 inches, oil on board, POR

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Feels Like Snow

Sometimes I translate the outside weather into my still lifes. White objects and white tabletop and white rose are my substitutes for snowy mountains and landscapes. Makes me feel connected. I've been doing a series and this one is is the sixth. Oil on board #0735, 3 3/4 by 2 1/2 inches, POR

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


In the same issue of Watercolor (winter '08) Magazine that I am in I saw Stephanie Anderson's work and was blown away by her handling of edges. I was thinking about her edges for days. How beautiful! I am going to try it some more later but this is what I got today.
"White Vase and Cup", watercolor on paper, 3 3/4 by 2 1/2 inches, POR

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Landscape #0640

Merry Christmas!!
"Iron Trees", 2 1/2by 3 3/4 inches, oil on board, POR

Monday, December 24, 2007

Video link to Watercolor Magazine

This is the link to video of "Three Onions".
And this is the link to the
"Three Onions" is a watercolor on paper, 2 1/2 by 3 3/4 inches, POR


While I'm waiting for today's work to dry I'll post a landscape that I did a couple of years ago. One of my favorites. And by the way Merry Christmas Eve!

Sunday, December 23, 2007


Usually when someone asks me which of my paintings is my favorite I usually say, "oh the one that just sold!" But this one is really my one of my all time favorites (and yes, it did sell). Which brings up another issue: how to let go of one of your favorite favorites? My answer is to do another one. Maybe using the same elements, but usually what happens (well when I'm lucky that is) is that the new painting will be even better and I will fall in love with the new one. POR

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Shadow Box

In answer to a question from someone who emailed me asking what a shadow box was I am posting a picture of it. It's just a cardboard box. It can be made out of something sturdier and more aesthetically pleasing but I guess I haven't gotten around to it yet. It's main function is to control the light that's hitting the still life objects. I want the light to come from one direction and not have any confusing ambient light such as overhead lamps or light coming from another part of the room. The other function is to hold up the background fabric! The painting is 2 1/2 by 3 3/8 inches on 3/4 inch birch plywood and I intend to put it in a floater frame. POR

Friday, December 21, 2007

I've been tagged!!

Tagging is a blogging game that serves two purposes; it gets your blog around and it gives readers a chance to know you better. The tagee has to write five things that no one knows about (I guess that depends who you're asking) and then tags five other people. Here are my five things: 1. I stopped reading novels when I started painting seriously. (I used to be an avid reader but now it seems to get in the way of my creative side. 2. I pray a lot. 3. I don't meditate as much as I want to. 4. I don't answer the phone when it's a paint day. 5. I'm a neatnik but my paint table is the messiest in my whole house.
I'm tagging: my husband, L. Paul Saltzman, Kelley MacDonald, Mary Sheehan and Megan Barron .

Daisies in Clear Vase

I did two paintings yesterday but both are too wet to put on the scanner so I thought I'd post something that I did this time last year. I'm pretty sure I did the watercolor first and then the oil. I used a red/green palette for both of them. I usually keep careful notes about the dates, palettes and different boards that I use but in this case I only have "December" written down for the watercolor. After struggling with the watercolor I did it in oil to try and regain my sanity. And probably my ego. Watercolor is relatively new to me so I can at least "have something to fall back on" in oils! POR

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Recycled Still LIfe Objects

While organizing my studio this month I came across an old painting that inspired me. It is entitled "Bottle with Roses" but it really should have been "Ode to Morandi". I was living upstate NY when I did this so I don't think I had seen much of Morandi's work in person (books,yes). I was fortunate to see a show of his last year. I think I always carry around with me some of his influence. The stillness and the mysterious quality of his bottles are fascinating. Anyway, since I'm on this "cup" journey I wanted to use one or more of the same bottles in a new painting. The other two bottles made it to my desk, but didn't seem to work in the painting. Maybe another day... POR

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

More for Cup Series/Neutrals

I was thinking "neutrals" when I repainted the red roses in the eleventh painting in this cup series. AH! Now I remember (there is a delay in posting since I don't want to put a wet painting on the scanner) that I had left over paint from a painting I did the day before and thought it would look good on this painting. (I'll post that one tomorrow cause it has its own story.) All the flowers in this painting were red and to my eye not quite making it. I don't make it a habit of overpainting cause I don't like the smell of varnish and I find I have to varnish the painting in order to have the colors look like they do when they're wet. I was also using the same red/green palette that I had used for this painting so seemed like all systems were "go". I also have been relying on direct observation and not memory so this was one of the few times that I went against my usual way of doing things. Painting out of the box so to speak. I like that the only bit of non-neutral color is in the cup and hope that this helps speak to the title of the painting. It's hard for the center of interest to be in the background; maybe there's a tension between the cup and the flowers that I like. POR

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Benefits of Teaching

As a result of my organizing my studio I came across a group of sunflower paintings that I had done in '05 which were in my "not so great to say the least" pile. I usually don't bother "adjusting" paintings because I just end up changing everything and it would be just as easy if not easier to start fresh. This was the first time it actually worked! I'm wondering if it was a result of spending most of the fall teaching which meant analyzing many, many paintings and trying to really zero in on what could be done to make it a better painting. I still believe that it doesn't pay to rework old paintings but I was really happy with the way this group came out!

Sunday, December 16, 2007


I must have some organizational/new years get it together bug because I've been going through my drawers and filing paintings in different catagories. (I've been adding a lot to my "humbles" pile. ) Saw this painting and it reminded me to keep it simple and paint the basic geometric forms before putting on the details (petals). Maybe I should bring this one to my classes as a demo. Sunflowers #0170, 3x3 3/4 inches, oil on board, POR

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Overturned Vase Group

I was interested to see if I could paint my different set-ups with any of the three complementary palettes that I use (red/green, orange/blue and yellow/purple). The painting on the right was done with the red/green palette. The painting on the upper left was done with the yellow/purple palette.The painting in the center was done in the orange/blue palette. It was a good experience and I discovered that most of the setups can be done in any of the palettes. I may even like using the least obvious palette because the colors are more subtle and a bit more neutral which I like. POR

Friday, December 14, 2007

Cup Series

This is number fourteen in my cup series that I started when I saw my book in print. I was feeling very grateful and I was hoping to transfer the feeling into paint. I reworked some of the roses last week and now it's dry so I could put it on the scanner.
It's 4x3 inches, oil on board POR

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I'm in a featured article of Watercolor Magazine!
It's on stands now; winter '08. The writer, Tina Tammaro really captured the feeling and spirit of my work. The images were also reproduced very accurately. Here is one of the images from the article, White Vase and Heirloom Tomatoes. It's on paper and measures 4x3 inches. POR

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


This month is the ten year anniversary of my painting small! Seems fitting to join in the daily painting movement!! I am the author of Big Art, Small Canvas. Visit my website at I also teach small painting at different workshops across the country and have met some wonderful people there. I'm hoping to further my enjoyment through blogging!!